See peeps, here’s the thing:
I don’t love nursing. Never have, really.
Yes, there are times I enjoy nursing, and there are definitely times it’s convenient. I am always grateful that I have milk for my babies, and especially when they’re not feeling well. I am also extremely grateful that I have never had to feed my babies powdered cows’ milk from a factory.
But . . . that doesn’t mean I love nursing.
I nurse for three simple reasons:
- It’s healthy. For mother and baby. Physically, emotionally, psychologically.
- It means my babies *don’t* get formula – which has its own set of risks, unrelated to how much a mother breastfeeds.
- I believe that parenting may not always be fun, but that does not mean that we don’t have to act responsibly. I believe that choosing not to breastfeed, even though you *can* (physically – meaning, you have milk available) and are healthy enough to do so (no bodily-fluid-transmitted diseases, no medicines that preclude breastfeeding) is choosing to take the easy way out. I believe that supplementing with processed cows’ milk powder is harmful unless it is medically necessary. I believe that choosing either of those options, because it’s easier, more convenient, or whatever other non-health reason, is irresponsible, after all the research that has been done.
So I breastfeed. My minimum is 1 year. Yitzchak thinks 2 is better. Shlomo hated breastfeeding. We stuck it out 14 months, 7 of them only because I gave him no other options. I said, “I don’t care if it makes him mad. When he grows up he will thank me.”
Tova happens to like nursing. She is now older than Shlomo was when he quit nursing. And she shows no sign of wanting to wean.
And me? I’m done. I’m sick of nursing. I am *so* over it. It was fun, kid. But come on, let’s move on with life.
But I won’t stop if she doesn’t want to, because the fact is that the WHO recommends breastfeeding until the age of two. So if she’s happy, we’ll stick it out.
She will have to learn not to stick her hands down my shirt, or pull my shirt up and stick her hands in my belly button. And she will have to learn that no, I will not nurse her if the last time she nursed was an hour (or two, or three, or five) ago. She dropped down to two nursings a day – morning and evening – and I am sticking with it.
And as much as I want to nurse tandem, I’m beginning to think that I should wean her before the next one comes along. Why should the next baby suffer because Mom has been nursed-out by an older sibling? Doesn’t seem fair to me.
In the meantime, however, we will stick it out. And we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.
But no, people. I nurse because breastmilk is healthy and formula is a medicine that is meant to be given only under certain circumstances – no matter how much society and formula companies may brainwash you otherwise.
I nurse because as a parent. sometimes we all have to do things that are difficult, annoying, hurt, or just that we’d rather not do. Because that’s what being a parent is. Choosing your kid over your comfort.
Even if nursing is sometimes *very* uncomfortable. (I should know . . . 2.5 months of tongue tie, 6+ months with a cracked nipple, two months of tender nipples that don’t want to be touched, much less sucked on . . . yeah, I know. So?)